Julie Palmer Named Karin Grunebaum Cancer Research Professor

Julie Palmer, ScD, MPH, co-director of the BU-BMC Cancer Center, associate director of the Slone Epidemiology Center and professor of medicine and epidemiology, has been named the Karin Grunebaum Cancer Research Professor, which was established in 2002 by the Karin Grunebaum Cancer Research Foundation.

Dr. Palmer has focused much of her career on the etiology of breast cancer, and breast cancer in African American (AA) women in particular. She is a founder and principal investigator of the Black Women’s Health Study, a prospective cohort study of 59,000 AA women who enrolled in 1995 and have been actively followed by biennial questionnaires for more than 20 years. The study includes repositories of saliva, blood and tumor tissue samples from study participants, a tremendous resource for research on modifiable factors and genetic factors related to risk of cancer in AA women. Dr. Palmer is currently developing an improved breast cancer risk prediction model for AA women for use at the primary care level, and is leading an effort to determine the prevalence and penetrance of susceptibility variants of BRCA1, BRCA2 and other cancer predisposition genes in an unselected AA population.

Dr. Palmer serves on the scientific advisory boards of the NIEHS Sister Study and the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and chairs an ad hoc working group of the NIH National Cancer Advisory Board. Dr. Palmer has received numerous awards, including the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Service Award, the Eighth Annual AACR Distinguished Lectureship on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities and the BU School of Public Health Distinguished Alumni Award. Currently she serves as a Mission Advisor and Komen Scholar for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Dr. Palmer holds a BA from Brown University, an MPH from BUSPH and a ScD in epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.